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Amsterdam, September 5, 2018
A new model Delftware vase has been discovered in a private American collection. The 62 cm. (24.5 inch) high vase made around 1700 is modeled as a garden urn, with a high domed cover with drop shaped finial. It is unrecorded in literature and does not show up in any archival record. “It is a unique and exciting find,” says Robert Aronson, fifth generation owner of Aronson Antiquairs in Amsterdam. The discovery was made several months ago. “And although I knew that it was very rare, as I don’t recall ever seeing one, finding out that it is a unicum caught us by surprise” says Aronson.

Blue and White Delftware Vase and Cover, circa 1700

The large blue and white vase depicts a fanciful landscape design within a slightly preposterous Italianate architectural setting. The embellished scenes show a fountain with putti and figural groups conversing and strolling in a landscape of trees with sponged foliage amidst rustig buildings on hills.

Monumental garden urns and vases filled with the most exotic plants and flowers enriched the formal garden at the end of the seventeenth century. Stadholder-king William III and Mary Stuart adorned their own gardens with blue and white Delftware, filling them with expensive exotic plants, such as orange trees and pineapple plants. The Delftware garden urns were also left empty or had a closed cover and functioned purely as decoration. 

Having strong similarities in shape and decoration to several Delftware garden urns at Hampton Court Palace, which must have been ordered by Mary in the last months of her life, the present vase can be placed in this tradition. A large covered Delftware vase like the present must have been a true eye-catcher. Moreover, being made according to the fashion of that time, the vase would perfectly match the baroque style of both the garden and interior. Although the Royal Court adorned their gardens and interiors with impressive blue and white Delftware vases, there is no certainty that the present vase was made for a royal commission. It is however tempting to imagine such an interesting provenance.

Delftware has been a national symbol of Holland for almost 400 years. Initiated by the demand for the waning importation of Oriental porcelain from the 1640s, Delftware quickly became an iconic national product and one of the greatest Dutch achievements.

From the 1680s the Delftware industry was constantly innovating with new shapes, decorations and functions. Their products, like this large covered vase, were coveted by European nobility and royalty for their quality and diversity. The city of Delft rapidly became an inspiration to many European and even Oriental potters. 

At the height of production the artisans guild of Saint Luke counted almost 40 pottery factories in the small city of Delft. They were innovative and adapted to fill the needs of clients all over Europe, with the elegant term ‘faience’ becoming synonymous with ‘delftware.’

Aronson Antiquairs
Since 1881, over five generations of the Aronson family have brought to market the highest quality Delftware. We confidently ensure that private collectors and museum and corporate curators will discover fully researched authentic Delftware at Aronson Antiquairs in Amsterdam.

Robert Aronson is specialist with the TV program Tussen Kunst & Kitsch and is chairman of the Royal Dutch Antique Dealers Association. He is knowledge partner of specialist curators at several Dutch museums and provides ongoing sponsorship to the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague for their semi permanent exhibition “Delftware Wonderware.”

TEFAF New York
Aronson will present the vase to the public for the first time at TEFAF New York Fall 2018. The third edition of the fair will be held at the historic Park Avenue Armory in New York City and will run from  Saturday October 27th through Wednesday October 31st.

Further information and hi-res images, please contact us by e-mail or by phone.

While we are in New York for the Winter Antiques Show (Jan. 19 thru 28) you may also reach us on cell 646-415-2561.

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